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Tunisian president urges calm as protesters remain defiant

Tunisian protesters block a street during clashes with security forces in the Ettadhamen city suburb on the northwestwern outskirts of Tunis on January 18, 2021.   -  
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The Tunisian president has urged protesters to desist from vandalizing private and public properties. Kaïs Saïed met with residents of Ettadhamen city, Monday.

It comes after a fourth consecutive day of protests across the country. Protesters are battling against social and economic crisis.

"Through you, I want to speak to all the Tunisian people, I know the state of poverty and I also know who is exploiting your poverty. Don't let anyone exploit your misery, don't attack private or public property. We live today because of moral values and not because of theft or looting", Saïed said.

Tunisians are disappointed about high unemployment rate. The financial crisis in the North African nation has also angered locals. That’s why they have been protesting since last Friday.

On Monday, officials said more than 600 people have been arrested. Troops were deployed after a third consecutive day of protests.

The protests erupted days after Tunisia commemorated the 10th anniversary since the exile of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. He was pushed from power in a popular revolt that later reached other North African and Mideast countries, known as the Arab Spring in 2011.

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